If you’re reading this article (or any article on Tiny House Blog) it means that you’re more than likely a fan of tiny houses. It also means you’re probably aware of how energy efficient and eco-friendly most tiny homes are. Simply due to their size, tiny homes are much more “green” than standard or traditional housing. The goal of this article is to present some techniques and ideas to help maximize the efficiency and overall “green-ness” of any tiny house you may already have or are planning to build.
As you can imagine, since tiny homes are so small they do not require a lot of energy in the first place. However, there are some ideas that can be implemented to reduce that energy usage even further.
Water usage is an area that can be improved in almost all houses, big or small. One simple thing you can do is to redirect water from rainfall to nearby gardens or plants. This will save on watering these plants and is an easy way to make sure that rainwater is not wasted. Regarding plants and gardens it is important to keep in mind that planting native plants will help save on water as well because they are more accustomed to the climate and habitat and do not require as much care.
Utilizing natural rainfall can be taken a step further by using this water within your tiny home. It is possible to harvest the water from rainfall to use for showers and other uses inside of your tiny house. There are a variety of way this can be done but if you would like a precise step-by-step description of how to build a rainwater harvesting system along with ways to treat that water, the Texas Water Development Board has provided a free downloadable PDF that explains the entire process in great detail.
Another area where you can improve further on your tiny house’s efficiency is regarding electricity. There a few different options that can be employed to reduce energy usage.
One option that is rather simple involves installing a solar tube. Solar tubes are similar to skylights in that they provide natural light into the house. However, solar tubes use mirrors to reflect light and produce much more light within the space they are illuminating. Solar tubes are often used in traditional homes to light a room but because of their size, a solar tube in a tiny home can be used to light the whole house. This means that you would be using virtually no energy to light your tiny house during the day. For a more in-depth look at how solar tubes work, read this article from EcoBroker.
Another option for energy is to use wind power. Wind turbines can be especially effective for tiny houses as they can produce enough energy to run the whole house. Small wind turbines designed for homes or “microwind turbines” can also store energy in batteries that can be used on days when there is no wind.
Tiny homes are very environmentally friendly and tend to be quite efficient. They provide a style of living that is very “green” and responsible. However, implementing some of the ideas mentioned in this article can increase efficiency and help ensure that your tiny home has little to no impact on the environment.
Wade Myer grew up under the watchful eye his father, a contractor, who taught him the tools of the trade. Even though he can swing a hammer with the best of them, he’s always been drawn to the written word where he can frame sentences rather than walls. Currently he writes on behalf of Steiner Homes LTD. who builds St. John custom homes.